m. Bef. 1730
Facts and Events
John Hughes was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:
Records of John Hughes in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records: (Note: Since there were other John Hughes' in Augusta County, some of these records may not belong to this John Hughes)
Information on John Hughes
Notes from Familytreemaker site of D. Michael Hughes: (added with permission, includes some speculation about certain possible relationships in the Hughes Family)
This seems to be the son of Francis (G2). The first mention of him is in the ledgers of the Coventry Forge where his father Francis is credited for "work done by your son John at the damm" in 1743. I have indicated his date of birth as "before 1732", but believe it was no later than 1730 as he was surely at least 13 years old when working "at the damm" of the forge in 1743. After the sale of his land in Pennsylvania, Francis moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
In the records of Frederick County, VA (which is just north of the place where Francis purchased his land on the north fork of the Shenandoah in 1747), a John Hughes binds himself in consideration of 17 Pounds to Andrew Campbell to serve him during the space of 17 months. This agreement was in March of 1747, a few months before Francis concluded his purchase of land. I suspect John was old enough to work (probably about 16 by then) and took this job to support himself when his parents moved to Virginia. His brother Aaron was only 12 years old at this time.
The same records show that Andrew Campbell concluded the purchase of a plantation of four hundred acres "adjoining the county line" one day after John signed the agreement to work for him. I would think John's help was needed by Campbell to work the plantation. We need to determine the location of this property and determine what county line was referred to.
In 1752 (Records of Frederick County) a John (J) Hughes signs as a witness to a lease of 252 acres by George Johnston, Gentleman, of the County of Frederick, to George Washington of County of King George. The most interesting thing about this transcript is that it shows John's signature as "John (J) Hughes". The transcript of John's will indicated the same (J) as part of the signature. As explained below, this occured because his signature in the will was made with the left side of the cursive capital letter 'H' slightly separated from the rest of the letter. It would be interesting to examine the original signature on this lease to compare it with the signature on the Green County will. This might prove whether this is our John Hughes.
From "Apprentices of Virginia 1623-1800" by Harold B. Gill, Jr. (p. 132): A Joseph James of Augusta Co. VA is apprenticed to a John Hughes. The beginning date for the apprenticeship was August 1, 1753. Joseph's father was shown as William James, deceased. The ending date of the apprenticeship was unspecified. This information came originally from the Augusta Parish Vestry Book 1746-1780 p. 122.
Again in the records of Frederick County (Shenandoah County Deeds by Amelia Gilreath Page 267 25 May, 1780), a 'lease and release' is done between John Hughes to Mounts (Mounce) Bird for 1/2 acre of land designated as lot #75 in the town of Woodstock. John's mother is speculated to be the daughter of Andrew Bird. She would therefore be a sister to Mounce Bird. Here John is selling a town lot to a person who is speculated to be his uncle. This activity above would seem to indicate that John may have been a resident of Frederick County until 1768. This area of Frederick County became Shenandoah County in 1772.
The term "processioning" means to go out and remark property lines. From "Settlers by the Long Grey Trail" p. 163, is recorded: 'On the 8th of March (1748) Daniel Harrison and Morgan Bryan (the Bryan of Bryan's settlement in NC?), reported .....processioned for Thomas Moore, present Francis Hughs; processioned for John Miller, present Thomas Hughes, Thomas Moore; processioned for Thomas Moore, present Francis Hughes;...,etc. (This is from the Augusta Parish Vestry Book, pp 4, 19, and 23; Chalkley, Vol II, p. 435). Note the mention of Morgan Bryan. This may be the same Morgan Bryan who appears at the Yadkin River with Edward Hughes. Note: I need to know more about Thomas Hughes mentioned above. Could he be a son of Francis? This doesn't seem possible as Francis seems to be having children in the 1730's. On the other hand, he can't be a brother of Francis because he is not mentioned in the will of Charles. He might be the nephew of Francis, a son of John (G2). Jeanne Bowman had him shown as a son of Francis (G2).
I have shown this John (G3) Hughes to be the father of Francis of King's Mountain only because I cannot work out any other good possibility. I have no proof that John is the father of Francis. There is no record indicating that the Francis who moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia had a son named Francis.
In "Carolina Cradle" there is a statement that "In December, 1746, Edward Hughes purchased a tract of land in the valley of Virginia (for 25 pounds Pennsylvania money) on Wallings Creek, a branch of the North Shenandoah (witnesses to this transaction were Samuel Bryan, Morgan Bryan, Jr., and John Ellis). He was still there in the fall of 1747 but removed to the Yadkin (probably with the Bryans) in 1748."
From "Apprentices of Virginia 1623-1800" by Harold B. Gill, Jr. page 132: A James Joseph is apprenticed in Augusta County, VA to John Hughes with a beginning date of 08/01/1753. James father was Williams James who was deceased. James was apprenticed to John to learn a trade as a cooper. The source for this information was the Augusta Parish Vestry Book (1746-1780) page 122. This note is particularly interesting in that it specifies a trade. Remember that Charles (G1) was a cooper and willed his coopers tools to his son John (G2). This may be an indication that John (G2) was living in Augusta County in 1753. This seems likely since John (G3) would be only about 21 years old in 1753 and would probably not be taking in an apprentice. It could also mean that both John (G2) and Francis (G2) continued their father's vocation and Francis (G2) passed on his knowledge to his son John (G3).
In 1754 John Hughes received 150 acres of land on Timber Ridge above Timberville (see survey). John (G3), son of Francis (G2), would have been about 24 years old at this time. I have visited this property. It is located high on the ridge and is currently planted in part with apple trees. It is not particularly good farm land. It is almost directly across the river from Francis' land on the north fork of the Shenandoah. This land is about 12 miles southwest of Woodstock. I do not know whether or not John ever lived on this property.
Based on the 1830 census of Overton Co. TN, John and Sarah's son Aaron was born between 1760 and 1770. This would have been about the same time as the purchase of the property at Linville's Creek. It is possible that John and Sarah could have been born as late as 1748 or so and still have a child and property at this time. If they married late, they could have been 30 years old or so and have been born about 1740. In either case, this would raise questions about whether this is the John who acquired 150 acres on Timber Ridge in 1754. If he acquires this property in 1754 at minimum age of 20, he would have been born before 1734 and would have been 34 years old when he buys the property at Linville Creek.
I need to determine where John was residing between 1754 and 1768. Remember that this is the time of severe indian attacks in the Shenandoah valley and the time when a John Hughes was listed as a "long hunter" with Daniel Boone and others. The long hunters hunted and explored Kentucky and Tennessee from 1760 to 1775. (See 'Early Adventurers on the Western Waters' by Kegley - page 83) In Deed Book 12, pages 432 and 433, it is recorded that John Hughes sold 1/2 acre of land in the town of Woodstock, VA. to Mounts Bird in April of 1768. George Ruddell, Richard Campbell, and Burr Harrison were witnesses.
I believe this answers the mystery about the parents of Francis Hughes who fought at King's Mountain, NC and was very active in the early formation of the state of Tennessee. In his Revolutionary War pension application of 1833, Francis Hughes (of King's Mountain) stated that he was born in 1759 in "Shenandoah County, VA". Shenandoah County was formed from Frederick County in 1772. Woodstock is therefore in what would have been referred to as Shenandoah County in 1833 when Francis made his pension application. I have found no other record of a Hughes owning land in Shenandoah County. Francis (G2) only owned land in Augusta/Rockingham county. I believe this suggests that Francis of King's Mountain was the son of John Hughes, not Francis Hughes. This would make Francis the brother of Aaron (G4) who marries Sarah Mackey in Tennessee.
I would like to have more evidence of John and Sarah's presence in Shenandoah County between 1759 and 1768 to feel comfortable about this conclusion. Aaron (G3) owned land in Augusta/Rockingham County just south of the Shenandoah County line. I have no evidence that he would have ever lived in Shenandoah County.
Augusta County, VA Deed book 15, p 220, dated 5 November 1768 - 224 acres (which had been patented to John Hughes) was conveyed to Joseph Lair by John Hughes and Sarah Hughes. This land was on a branch of Linville Creek and was adjacent to the land owned by the Lincoln family. Witnesses to the transaction were Andrew Byrd, Matthias Lair, and Edward Sampson. A further reference to this transaction can be found in Augusta County, VA Deed book 22, page 197, dated 16 August 1774 when the property was sold by Joseph Lair to his brother Andrew Lair.
The sale of John's land at Linville Creek and the town lot at Woodstock may represent the date for John and Sarah leaving Va. Aaron who married Sarah Mackay was born 1760/1770 according to census records and would have been less than 10 years old at this time.
Francis Hughes is also listed in the 1768 settlers of Augusta Co. (Augusta Parish Vestry Book, p.444). From 2V366: A John Hughes is listed as one of the Virginia troops in the Continental Line.
A John Hughes is listed in HENNINGS STATUTES AT LARGE as a member of the Augusta Co., VA militia in 1758.
FROM: COLONIAL SOLDIERS OF THE SOUTH 1732-1774 by Murtie Jane Clark p. 919 Accounts of pay due the companies in Col. Geo. Gabriel Powell's Battalion in the 1759 Cherokee Expedition, signed by the commanding officer 1/15/1760 Nr. 25 - Private John Hughes p. 895 and p. 928 (10/11/1759 & 1/15/1760) accounts of pay due. p. 940 "A list of Granville County Detachment under Capt. John McPherson, drafted 11/8/1759 and discharged 1/8/1760 - Private John Hughes (Granville Co. is in NC) If our John Hughes is in VA in 1768, selling property to Joseph Lair, this must refer to another John. This seems to relate to the Hughes family which is present in the Caswell County, NC area and which may or may not be related to us.
p. 985 "Composite List of Oglethorpe's Soldiers and Settlers" - John Hughes, Independent Company 1749-1764. Highland Independent Company, Darien (?) What is this reference to Darien (?). Also listed a Charles Hughes and a Thomas Hughes. This is a reference to a Charles Hughes for which I have no other information. Note that a Thomas Hughes is also mentioned in the processioning of land in Augusta Co. in 1748.
p 998 Muster Roll of Capt Thomas Goldsmith's Co. of Independent Foot, on duty in SC and GA 8/25/1756 - 10/24/1756. Pvt. John Hughs stationed Augusta & Fort Moore. Again, this must refer to another John. Is our John Hughes the John Hughes who was a "Long Hunter"? A John Hughes accompanied Dr. Thomas Walker on his expedition.
In 1753 a John is a witness to a deed for Thomas Moore in Augusta Co. VA Augusta Parish Vestry Book p. 122 __Aug, 1753: Joseph James, son of Wm. James, deceased, bound to John Hughes.
On September 27, 1762, John Hughes, Egniar Virden and Michael Warren were witnesses to the will of John Wright. John Wright was a son of James Wright. John left his land at Ball Hill, Bear Wallow and Perish Lines to his wife, Liddy, sons Abraham, James, Joshua, and John, and to daughters Elizabeth, Mary Sarah, Janet, Easter and Lydia. Executors were his wife, Lydia, and Daniel Smith. The will was proven on November 18, 1762. (Chalkley III, p. 73). I believe this refers to another family.
In "Maryland Marriage 1734-1777" p. 94 a John Hughs, Jr. is shown married to a Sarah Day Wright on 19 Feb. 1767 (2 BA-230). These references are probably just a coincidence. If the John Hughes who witnesses the will above is John (G3), it is possible that the Sarah who marries John (G3) is a daughter of John Wright. I need to check Chalkley and determine the location of these places mentioned in the will.
In Chalkley's "Records of Augusta Co." Vol 3, p. 478: "p. 220 of Deed Book No. 15 is sale on 5 Nov 1768 by John Hughes and wife Sarah ( ). There is a ( ) indicating a name is shown on the deed for Sarah. Check this in Augusta Co. Deed Books. I have one transcript where it indicates this was signed as Sarah (her mark) Hughs.
Washington Co. - County Court Minutes: Grand Jury indicted "John Hughs for living in fornication with widow Jones." May 21st 1782. I think these were Washington Co. NC minutes. Washington Co. NC covered all of the present state of Tennessee and parts of western NC. Also note that another John Hughes (lawyer) played a prominent role in the early development of east Tennessee. There also appears to be at least one other John Hughes present in this area at this time. This reference could be to any of these John Hughes.
In the Greene Co. (TN) Court Minutes for 1783 - 1799: "A deed of conveyance from Robt. Blackburn to John Hughes for one hundred and fifty acres of land was duly proven by the oaths of Francis Huges & Dan Kenedy & the Sale or'd to be rec'd." This is recorded in the May 1784 minutes for "Greene County and State of North Carolina" This may give us the date that John and Sarah moved to TN.
On Jan 12, 1803, Moses Hughes purchased 88 acres of land on the Southside of Chuckey River from Aaron Hughes & Sarah (Mother of Aaron? or wife of Aaron?) 24-55. In 1798 this land was shown in the name of John Hughes, Sr. in Capt. Reese Gullock's company. Since John (J) Hughes died in 1791, I am not sure what to make of this mention of John Hughes, Sr. I suppose it is possible that the land continued to be listed in his name after his death. His wife Sarah and son Aaron did continue to live on it and it is likely that the tax record simply continued in his name.
On page 32 Greene County Deed Book 4: Indenture 14 Aug 1788 John Hughs and Joseph Parks, 100 pounds paid, 150 acres in Greene County on Horse Creek, waters of Lick Creek. Land granted Robert Blackburn, Grant 337 at Fairfield, 24 Oct 1782. Signed also by Sarah Hughs. Witnesses: John Newman, Francis Johnston. Reg 2 Sept 1789
In the same court minutes: "One other from Michael Rawlings to Moses Hughes dated April 12th. 1791 for 100 acres of land was duly proven by the oaths of Asahel Rawlings and John Hughes and admitted to the record". (August 1791 Session). Another entry from the court minutes: "One other from Johnston Nelson to John Hughs Senr. dated December 27th. 1794 for eighty eight acres of land was duly proven by the oath of William Wilson and admitted to record." Note that this mentions a John Hughes who was alive after the death of John, father of Aaron who married Sarah Mackey. The reference to "Senr." could refer to a son John or that there was another related John who was younger than this person. It most likely refers to the deceased John (G3) Hughes. The "Senr" does not necessarily mean he had a son John Jr.
On page 69 Greene County Deed Book 4 Indenture 4 Aug 1789 Thomas Johnston and Francis Johnston (relationship not stated), ___ pounds paid, tract in Greene Co., NC, Lying on Lick Creek, beginning at corner to JOHN HUGHES, and containing 150 acres.
I have a number of references to a John Hues who acquires property on Buffeloe Creek in Washington County, TN about 1783. This John Hues is a lawyer from Rutherford County, NC. He may be related, but I don't think he is the John who married Sarah.
It appears that John owned property and may have lived in the town of Woodstock for some time prior to his sale of land there in 1768 to Mounts (Mounce) Bird. If John's mother was Christina Bird, Mounce would have been John's cousin. Mounce was the son of Andrew Bird and Magdalene Jones (daughter of Mounce Jones). Mounts was married to Clara Ruddell in Shenandoah County in about 1758. Mounce and Clara would have been married about 10 years when they bought the 1/2 acre in Woodstock from John. When referring to these records, it should be noted that 'Mounce' was also referred to as 'Moses' in some documents.
John Hughes is listed as a voter in Washington County, NC at Jonesboro as follows: "The under written names are the persons who voted at the election for the county of Washington on the third Fryday and Saturday in August 1786, at the Court house in Jonesborough." The names included John, several Gillaspies, and Seviers. This information is from "Tennessee Ancestors", Vol. 5, p. 88 August 1989.
Note that there is a long time span between the sale of 224 acres of land on a branch of Linville Creek in Augusta County, VA and the first evidence of John and Sarah in Tennessee - at least 10 or 12 years. It is probable that they moved to North Carolina as did so many other people from that part of Virginia. We need to do more research on the presence of John and Sarah Hughes in North Carolina from 1768 to 1783.
Another point of information which needs further research is the appearance in the "Order Book 1772-1774 - Shenandoah County" abstracted by Amelia C. Gilreath of a suit between "John Hughs & Isaac Hughs, executors of John Hughs, deceased (plaintiff) versus Joseph Puch, Gentleman (defendant). This suit listed on page 200 of the order book with a date of 28 September, 1773. Who is this John Hughs who is deceased as of 1773? Is this our John (G2)? If so, the John who goes to Tennessee and dies in 1791 (currently designated as (G3)) had a brother named Isaac. It would also solve the mystery about what happened to John (G2). Is there a will available in Frederick/Shenandoah county for this John? There are also suits listed in Order Book 1781-1784 of Shenandoah County (p. 221, 29 August 1783) involving a John Hughs as a defendant in a suit with Adam Teabo. Would this be our John (G3)? A William Hughes is also listed in these county records. Is he another son of John (G2)?
A will dated 7 Jul 1791 in "Greene County - Territory South of the River Ohio" Wife, Sarah, and son, Aaron, to receive all my estate her lifetime, then to him. Executor: Daniel Kennedy. Witnesses: Dan Kennedy, John McDonald. Signed: John J. Hughes
What happened to Sarah who was still alive? I have a note that the John McDonald who witnessed the above will married Eleanor Hughes 5 Jan 1790 (just before the will was witnessed). This could indicate that Eleanor was a sister to Aaron and a daughter of John and Sarah.
The above note was from the transcribed (typed) court records of Greene County. In July, 1992 my sister Marianne and I visited the courthouse in Greeneville and viewed the original will. A mistake was made in transcribing. John did not sign with the initial "J." The transcriber misread the left side of the capital letter 'H' in Hughs as the letter 'J'. (See note about signature above).